Three recent examples of how sustainable materials could help the sneaker industry grow more environmentally conscious.
Puma’s Better Foam
Puma has created sneakers with Better Foam, a new midsole, which will be used in footwear products starting this summer. It contains at least 35% bio-based materials which are derived from sugar cane. Sugar cane absorbs carbon as it grows and the parts of the plant which are not destined for food production are blended into traditional foam cushioning to make Better Foam. The first sneaker to feature Better Foam is the Emerge, a training shoe which is sold since July.
Nike’s Happy Pineapples
Nike has collaborated with Ananas Anam, the company behind Piñatex, for its Happy Pineapple Collection of sneakers. Piñatex is a natural plant-based material made from pineapple leaf fiber and is used as a replacement to leather throughout the collection. According to Nike, the US sports company is one of the first brands to use the just-launched new generation Piñatex which is said to be more sustainable than ever with 95% renewable resources and enhanced material performance. The collection comprises of seven sneaker editions across five styles: the Free Run Trail Premium, the Air Max 90, the Air Max 95, Air Force One and the Air-Zoom Type.
Nat-2’s Bubble Wraps
For its genderless vegan Sleek Low style German sneaker brand Nat-2 uses Remeant, a recycled bubble wrap material, which makes the shoe upper waterproof. Remeant, which has been developed by Elinor and Alon Nathaniel, is made from single use plastic, which could be a solution for different kinds of non-biodegradable waste – such as recycled bubble wrap. The Israeli start-up achieved a patented process of manufacturing ensuring Remeant’s qualities, making it highly durable, waterproof, easy to clean and lightweight.